AWS is all in on generative AI, and re:Invent offers a stage to blow competition out the water

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Ten days out from AWS re:Invent 2023, the generative AI space erupted into near anarchy. OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT and the poster child of the AI ‘boom’ over the last year, sent shockwaves throughout the industry with its abrupt sacking of CEO Sam Altman. 

Five days of absolute chaos ensued in which Altman joined Microsoft, staff at the firm revolted, and then the aforementioned chief exec made a triumphant return. 

This disruption, while captivating and confusing in equal measure for an outside observer, highlights the precarious condition of the industry as it emerges from an embryonic stage to begin truly delivering impactful outcomes for businesses globally. 

But while industry stakeholders such as OpenAI and Microsoft are mired in chaos and controversy, AWS re:Invent offers a prime opportunity for the cloud computing giant to solidify its status as a ‘steady hand’ for customers worldwide. 

As the largest of the three hyperscaler cloud providers, AWS clearly has the maturity and financial clout to position itself as the go-to cloud service for companies dabbling in generative AI in the coming months and years. 

And at re:Invent, we can expect the firm to come out guns blazing. re:Invent truly is a behemoth of a conference, much like AWS itself is one in the context of the global cloud computing industry. 

Tens of thousands of AWS customers and partners will descend on Las Vegas next week to participate in the flagship conference, and many will be eager to learn how AWS plans to both continue driving its industry-leading cloud offerings as well as its approach to generative AI innovation. 

Amazon Bedrock is certain to be a key talking point in this future-facing strategy. 

AWS’ big bet on Bedrock

AWS has made no secret of its efforts to position itself as the go-to cloud provider for generative AI innovation among businesses globally. The launch of Amazon Bedrock, a hosting framework for both in-house and third-party foundation models, has been a roaring success since its launch in April 2023. 

In July, Swami Sivasubramanian, VP for database, analytics, and machine learning at the cloud giant, revealed Bedrock had drawn “thousands of customers” since its launch, underlining the popularity of the framework. 

Bedrock has matured rapidly since its inception earlier this year. Initially, customers were given access to Amazon’s own family of Titan foundation models alongside third-party models from AI21 Labs, Cohere, Stability AI, and Anthropic’s Claude chatbot. 


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In September though, the firm announced the inclusion of Meta’s open source Llama 2 in Bedrock in a bold move that made it the first to provide the LLM via an API.

It’s likely that AWS will bang the drum over Bedrock throughout re:Invent, and the possibility of additional model announcements could be on the horizon. 

But flashy news bite announcements aside, AWS has a genuine opportunity to pull away from the pack with Bedrock as we near the end of 2023. 

In launching the framework, the tech giant isn’t just providing a platform through which customers can access generative AI models, it’s essentially creating an ecosystem that draws upon partner expertise to accommodate for a varied range of customers. 

Add to this the fact that Amazon is reportedly working on its own two trillion-parameter large language model, dubbed ‘Amazon Olympus’, and the stage could be set for a showdown with Microsoft-backed OpenAI in 2024. 

Industry collaboration

AWS’ approach to AI innovation has been one centered around cross-collaborative efforts with industry stakeholders, particularly high-growth startups operating in the AI space. 

Earlier this year, AWS announced a collaboration with Hugging Face to accelerate the training, fine-tuning, and deployment of large language and vision models used in the creation of generative AI applications. 

By drawing on the expertise of these companies and simultaneously positioning itself as a primary cloud provider, AWS is able to reap the combined benefits of these relationships. 

This approach has proven invaluable so far. Last year, Stability AI selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider while Anthropic did the same as part of a landmark investment deal in September

It’s clear that these “strategic partnerships”, as AWS dubbed the Anthropic deal, will continue to be critical in how the tech giant approaches its AI strategy moving forward. 

ITPro's Ross Kelly will be covering AWS re:Invent 2023 live from Las Vegas between 27 - 30 November. To stay up-to-date with the latest news and announcements from the conference, follow our live blog and subscribe to our newsletter below.

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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